The Marathon Game from a Franchise Historical Perspective

On Saturday June 8, 2013, the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 4-3 in a gruelling 18-inning contest lasting five hours and 28 minutes.  The game finally reached its’ conclusion when Rajai Davis drove in Emilio Bonifacio on a groundball single down the left field line after the latter had singled and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw.  This game officially tied for the longest game by innings in franchise history – with the July 28, 2005 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, also at home – although the more recent game was one out longer.  However, there have been at least two longer games in franchise history by time – a 15-inning loss to Baltimore on June 19, 1998 that lasted 5:49 and a 17-inning loss to the New York Yankees at home on April 19, 2001 lasting 5:57.

The Blue Jays had 73 plate appearances in Saturday’s game, equalling the franchise record set in a 17-inning win on October 4, 1980 at Boston.  Blue Jays pitchers faced 74 Texas batters, the third most in one game in franchise history; eclipsed only by 76 in both the aforementioned Boston and New York games.  Blue Jays pitchers combined to throw 268 pitches, fifth most in franchise history in games where pitch count data is available and 164 strikes (third most).  By comparison, the 74 plate appearances by Texas batters and the 73 batters faced represented merely the ninth highest totals in Texas history (including Washington Senators), with the records being 93 PA in a 20-inning win and 85 batters faced in a 21-inning loss, both for the Senators.  The Rangers threw 260 pitches, the fifth highest total in franchise history.  The 176 strikes were fourth-most.  The Rangers left 17 runners on base (ninth most in franchise history), while the Blue Jays left 16 (sixth-most).

Finally, only three individuals participated in both of the 18-inning games in Blue Jays history.  John Gibbons managed both of them for Toronto; Maicer Izturis went 1-for-6 with a single and sacrifice bunt for the Angels in the 2005 game and 0-for-7 with a walk on Saturday; and Pete Walker participated in the 2005 game as a Toronto player – pitching the final three innings to pick up the win – and as the Blue Jays’ pitching coach on Saturday.


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